Thursday, June 30, 2005

Can't Read Between the Lines

I haven't been able to play live poker since our trip to Vegas in June. All I've had is the internet kind. This wouldn't be so bad if I was any good at it... I just don't seem to be able to get a read on any of the players. I usually have to go solely on my hand, which isn't always a good read.

A hand from the other night - I'm playing a NL $25 max buy-in table on FTP. (This may be the first part of my problem.) I get pocket Q's in the BB. Three people try to limp in for $.25, and I raise to $2. I'm guessing that I'm just going to get the $.85, but I haven't seen any cards in a while. The guy to my immediate left calls, rest drop. Flop comes 10 high, mostly crap. I bet $3, he calls. Turn comes, a two or something like that. I bet $3, he raises to $6. I call the min raise. River is a jack. No pairs on the board, no flush possibilities, remote possibility of a straight but highly unlikely. I bet $5, he pushes all in for another $15. What do you think this person has?

A pair of 3s. A lousy stinking pair of 3s. Luckily I called on this one. I know of many times where I've laid hands down and they gloat by showing crap. Another hand, I had a pair of 6s (one of which is a spade) but caught nothing to go with them. Board showing spades. There was a feeler bet or two on my part, but he didn't raise. On the river comes the fourth spade, he raises 4x my bet. I had to fold, right? I'd put him on two overcards, and almost any spade would kill me. No spade for him. I would've had a decent pot.

Am I just too tight/passive? Should I be making these calls more often and taking more risks? I thought I'd become more aggressive by playing online, but I just can't see making some of these calls. I've been burned several times by people slow-playing pocket As or Ks, or playing crap cards even after a 6-4x BB raise. Do I give some of these people too much credit for having what they're representing? I just hate losing several buy-ins because I have problems reading their online play.

Is the play any better at the higher limits? How high would I need to go? What type of bankroll do I need to weather the variance? Is it better that I just stay lower limits and try to work it out?

Questions, questions.... this is the part that frustrates me. Maybe I'm just not meant for online poker. Unfortunately, that's all I usually have access to. I guess I'll just have to start up a home game on Thursdays. That way, our home game can call the GreenVegas home game for dial-a-shots. :-)


Blogger BadBlood said...

Home game vs. home game. I'm in!

6:06 AM  
Blogger Shelly said...

I can rarely seem to get player reads online too; I pick up much more playing live. Online poker is something I guess I do because I can't play live nearly as much as I want to! At least it's poker :) Kind of...

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Matt Stephans said...

Sounds like you are playing too passive. There's $4.50 in on the flop, you lead for $3. Unless you are trapping (which is fine), that's an underbet. We now have $10ish in the pot. You lead for $3. That's just too little (and likely the reason you got popped). Again, if you are trapping, great, but from thae tone of your post it doesn't sound like that. Reraise all in, only a set gets you hurt, and that's a MUTB (Monster Under The Bed). I would be a little nervous on the river (but we would have gotten it all in by then), but really, that's just a player pushing you because you are showing weakness, IMO.

11:07 AM  

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